Dubstep isn’t for everyone. As with all genres of music there are those who love it and those who hate it, but dubstep appears to split opinion more than other genres. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan – rock and indie music are my first loves – but there are some dubstep tracks that I thoroughly enjoy. Skrillex is responsible for several of these.
Skrillex is one of the more mainstream dubstep artists in a genre that’s growing increasingly mainstream, leaving its underground roots well and truly behind. Dubstep has existed for well over a decade, but it’s only the last few years that it has become popular enough to appear in soundtracks for movies and video games.
Not content with merely providing the musical accompaniment to video games, Skrillex has moved into production, or at least has commissioned someone else to do so. The result is Skrillex Quest, a free-to-play online game that mixes old-skool Zelda gameplay with Minecraft visuals, all laid over a healthy dose of Skrillex tunes.
Skrillex Quest is a free game you can play directly in your Web browser thanks to Flash. I know Flash sucks but, well, this proves it still has its uses. Skrillex Quest is what’s known as an advergame (a video game made to advertise something – in this case, Skrillex). But in the same way that viral video ads can be wholly worth watching, Skrillex Quest is wholly worth playing.
The game was created by Jason Oda, who specializes in making advergames. He was approached by Skrillex’s people to make a game based on their client’s music, brainstormed some ideas, and eventually settled on a game which taps into the old-skool Zelda titles. Skrillex Quest looks more something forged in Minecraft, with pixelated characters inhabiting pixelated environments.
Skrillex Quest is a simple role-playing game which sees you taking on the part of the aptly-named P1, a faceless protagonist who resides in a world being torn apart by glitches. These glitches are present as a result of a piece of dust finding its way into the game cartridge, as was a real-life problem many of us encountered during the 8-bit era.
You enter this world armed with a sword capable of fending off the cubed glitches. Your ultimate quest is to resurrect the dead princess from her ghostly tomb. To do so you need to collect between one and five keys which will unlock her shackles. It sounds simple but it really isn’t, especially as time (or at least the lack of it) is your biggest foe.
Whatever You Do, Do It Quickly
As soon as you enter the world of Skrillex Quest you’re in a race against time. This is because the pace of the game is dictated by the music that it exists to expose you to. You cannot wander aimlessly around finding all of the keys and all of the other items at your leisure. Instead you need to try and squeeze everything in before the music moves you on to the next stage.
Listen To The Music
So, the music can hinder your progress, but thankfully it can also assist you. Some of the on-screen action happens in time with the music, so by listening to the music you can get a feel for what is about to happen. This is most obvious during the section in the wilderness, with the glitchy blocks flying towards you given away by elements of the song playing in the background.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Skrillex Quest isn’t a particularly long game, but it does ooze replayability. When you reach the end (whether you were successful or not) you’ll receive a rundown of how you did. If, like me, you do rather poorly (see above) — don’t judge me too harshly, it was my first play through and I was collecting screenshots… honest — you can then start over in order to explore different areas and complete tasks in a different order.
The reason Skrillex Quest exists is to publicize and promote the music of the titular dubstep artist. It achieves this in no uncertain terms, exposing players to the music by making it an integral part of the game. Thankfully there is also a great game lurking in there too, which makes it worth playing even if dubstep isn’t your thing.
Skrillex Quest is free, playable in your browser, and bags of fun. Which makes it a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned. It also manages to conjure up a certain amount of nostalgia for the 8-bit era of video games when titles had a basic premise but were nearly impossible to beat. That’s the complete opposite of modern video games, which are often convoluted but can be completed in a weekend. I must be getting old.
Have you played Skrillex Quest? If so, what did you think? As always we’d love to hear your thoughts and views in the comments section below.